It's that time of year again! The temperatures have started to dip, the evenings are closing in and there's only only a few weeks left until Christmas!
It seems to have crept up on us, ever so quickly, as it does every year! Here at Bodyworx Health Clinic we are looking forward to some well deserved time off, surrounding ourselves with delicious food and great company.
Fun festivities aside, one downside to the end of the year season is that in a large percentage of us who's posture becomes affected!
Whilst out doing some Christmas shopping I have already noticed peoples postures are getting worse with the literal weight and mental weight of Christmas! We are hunching over, struggling under the weight of the shopping bags. What I've noticed is people raise their shoulders up to their ears and from a few trips round town with this kind of posture, we may start to feel the back and neck pains creeping in again - try not to overload your self. Take regular trips back to the car to off load the weight. Get heavy items delivered to you at home.
As we scamper to work on these chilly mornings, take a moment to think about how you are walking. If you are walking with clenched jaw, tense and rolled in shoulders, and a tightened core, you may be doing the "Canadian Walk" an affectionate term for the scrunched up, tense posture Canadians often walk around in to fight the (almost!) unbearable cold they face every year. This “walk”, or posture, is not just limited to folks in Canada, we often see it walking around town and also in offices with under-indulgent heating or over-eager AC units! People also suffer in schools, at home and outside in the cold. When the temperature drops, we instinctively curl up to reduce surface area of our bodies to stop heat from escaping our bodies. A natural progression of this is to hunch over to huddle our core to keep our key organs warm and functioning. Great for survival, not-so-great for your posture!
The ideal posture is to sit or stand upright with your head up, shoulders down back and relaxed, spine straight and core engaged. Forcing your body into good, open posture when all you want to do is to curl up is a challenge, especially long term. Set yourself up for success by taking extra precautions to stay warm, wherever you are.
Strategic Warming -
Places like your hands, feet, neck and cheeks are good parts to take extra care to layer and warm up; consider investing in thick socks, scarves to wrap around your neck and keeping a mug of hot coffee or tea by your side to hold.
Hot Beverages -
Staying warm can also be done effectively through drinking hot beverages or soups to heat from the inside out. Take a break from your ice cold waters and carbonated drinks and opt for hot tea/coffee or herbal teas that also give an extra boost for your immune system.
Ideal Temperature -
We’re all guilty of cranking up or down the thermostat due to being too cold and then too hot. A study shows that the ideal room temperature for comfort and maximized productivity is anywhere between 66°F to 77°F (18°C to 25°C). Of course, personal preference determines whether you prefer the lower or higher end of the range, but next time you walk over to your thermostat, keep this in mind. It may also save you a few pennies - always good at this time of year...!
Once you have the tips and tricks to stay at optimal temperature, you no longer have to fight against your subconscious that tells you to hunch over to stay warm and sets you up for success for maintaining good, upright posture throughout the day!
Have a lovely, stress-free, painless build up to Christmas and stay cosy!